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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  September 21, 2010 10:00am-1:00pm EDT

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effects and generally are shown over 10 to 15 years for kids that take them appropriately. the other studies, most of what the drug companies study and turn in for approval are usually shorter, six to 12 weeks. host: thank you for your expertise on this topic. please come back again. guest: i will. host: do not text and drive, that is part of a symposium today that we are covering the event -- we are covering. the event began about 45 minutes ago with remarks by ray lahood, the secretary of transportation. among the other speakers will be senator jay rockefeller talking about the dangers of texting
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handwriting and the deputy area transportation as well. we are covering the entire event at our website [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] . .
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>> you 9g the3 guardian angels for those people that you never meet ever. kids that might make the split decision not to text in their car. i just want to thank you for doing that. thank you for being such an attentive audience. good luck in your conference today. cthank you, secretary lahood for your leadership. [applause]
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good morning, everyone. we're just giving the next panel to the other. -the ceo of the national safety council. -- i am the ceo of the national safety council. we are excited to be here today. as you ever heard this morning, the number one cause of workplace fatalities as mis motor vehicle crashes. the largest cause of accidental death is motor vehicle crashes. driver distraction is a massive influence, and that is why we are particularly decided texcito
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be here today. we looked at the convergence of 50 research reports that talked about the dangers of cell phone use in testinand texting devicee driving. there was so little understanding about this. we had a massive debate. we knew this was very danger is behavior based on the research. we come from at traffic safety perspective, and we know the way to change this behavior follows the formula you heard ray lahood talk about. how you do that in the framework of very little conversation was the difficult part. a year ago on january we call for a nationwide ban on told a news and text to use while driving, and we called for companies to put in place
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policies prohibit the use of this. it was such a long debate press because of the lack of conversation. then i look at today and what we heard from secretary lahood and others. but that the amount of activity we have heard from a state legislative point of view, a research point of view, law enforcement point of view. i encourage you as we listen to our panelists today to think about how we maintain the momentum. i think all of us know that a year of action, even a tremendous year of action, is not enough to change behavior. how do we sustain the action over a longer amount of time? and how to read deep in the conversation? -- and how do we deepen the
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conversation? we agreed to listen to our panelists today. the topic is a year of action. which as we have a variety of perspectives. ha a federal retaliatory point of view, a research point of view, law enforcement point of view. let me introduce our panelists. the first is molly rams' deafie. she directs the state, federal affairs division. she has held a number of positions during her 14 years there. prior to joining, she was a research associate at instrumental the government helped at washington and hold a master's degree from public health in the field of medical sciences. our second panelists is katie thompson.
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she advises the secretary on chief policy issues and initiatives, including distracted driving, energy, and climate change. she served as the inner agency efforts to address energy and climate issues. prior to joining she was a partner in austin, washington, and detained her law degree from the university of pennsylvania. our third panelists is the enmitdan mcgee. he has been doing driver distraction research for 20 years, including over 500,000 miles of naturalistic driving research experience and numerous driving simulator studies. our finalist panel list as a
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graduate of cornell. he has a long career in law enforcement. he is the commanding officer of the syracuse cracktraffic divis. his traffic division is currently working with you department of transportation on an important demonstration program testing the effectiveness of distracted driving squalls. this approach is being tested by his division and shows great promise as for changing critical distracted driving behavior. with that, we will start with molly. [applause] >> you. blinged kila secreta-- thank yo. the topic is an important issue
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for state legislators across the country. before i provide the legislative update on distracted driving, i would like to take a few minutes to talk about n.c.l. and what we do. we are the bipartisan organization for the state legislatures of our nation's 50 states, and well and territories. this means we represent more than 7800 state legislators and approximately 35 legislative staff. our primary mission is to approve the quality and effectiveness of state legislators to promote policy innovation in communication among state legislators and insure state legislators have a strong, kotte said police before congress and the administration. -- strong, and forcienforcing v
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before congress and the administration. n.c.l. has worked with several city traffic administration's to conduct a series of meetings with stakeholders and state legislators. following eight months of work in march of 2002, n.c.l. released a report "all long for th"along for the ride" to assist in making legislation about technology in motor vehicle. well i will not go through all of the recommendations, i will highlight a few of them. all drivers should receive a driver distracting and educational material. there needs to be more data and
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research. there should be exemptions for emergency personnel. the report recognized that young drivers were more susceptible to distractions, and of course, i do need to throw out that the report did conclude that states, rather than the federal government, should decide whether to regulate the use of a wireless in motor vehicles. the group did not reach agreement on the issue of whether states should prohibit the use of hand-held wireless phones, and it should come as no surprise that the areas of disagreement at that time are some of the same ones that have been discussed recently. some individuals felt there was a need for restrictions on certain technologies, while others argued against it, citing states already have statutes dealing with reckless driving and that a specific law addressing a specific technology is not necessarily needed. at the time this work was happening, new york was the only state that had adopted a hand-
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held ban. arizona and massachusetts had and tell bans on the school bus drivers. -- had hand-held bans on the school bus drivers. i will let you know where you can access these at the end of my presentation. as you can imagine, we have received thousands of requests from state legislators around the country about this issue. i give you this little brief history lesson on n.c.l.'s activities because i want you to understand that this issue is not new to state legislators. as far back as 2001, state legislators were introducing legislation shoul on this issue. although what focus mostly on cell phone use.
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at least 43 states introduced a total of 140 bills, eight of them became wall. the majority of them established that thesstudies. as you can see from the table, there has been an enormous amount of legislative activity in this area. this tour is looking at legislative activity on the broader issue of distracted driving. i do not want you to put too much weight on the numbers each year, but what it is important to see the pure volume of attention this issue has received in state capitals around the country in 2009 and 2010, and more importantly, the total number of enactments.
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back in the early 2000's, the number of enactments regarding cell phone use did not really take off. as a relates to texting there continues to be real momentum. in 2007 washington state was the first one to adopt the testing ban. i want to mention that in 26 states it is primary enforcement. that will grow to 47 states at the end -- 27 states of the end of this month. in a very short amount of time we have gone from one states to 27 states. i was talking to some of my colleagues about this and we concluded we have not seen this momentum in statehouses across the country on any other driver
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safety issue. again, this map illustrates which maps have adopted specific language that the ybans texting while driving. i think we will continue to see the number of lost increase. the next chart provide summary figures on distracted driving laws and state, but let me take a minute to discuss specific provisions and the law. kinetic it increase the penalty for cell phone use wall operating a motor vehicle to $100, and they are providing 25% of the amount received of the ticket to an end to politics. -- kentucky increased the penalty for celebu news while opl phone use while operating a
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motor vehicle to $100, and they are providing 25% of the amount received of the ticket to municipalities. i know there have been discussions over considered what is driving. in some states you cannot just the end the use ban the use of e driving, because some states get into what is driving? it is a complicated issue when you get down to the legislative side of things. another one to point out, illinois adopted a statute that prohibits the use of of wireless telephone any time of operating a motor vehicle in the schools be its own or highway
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construction and maintenance zone. in the law it provides for exceptions for emergency personnel, law-enforcement, and the workers and the construction area. this is another example of how complicated sometimes these issues become once they get into the legislative process. the extensions can be an extremely hot lead debated item. we heard last year that maine took a broader approach and enacted a statute that states operation of our motor vehicle while distracted means operation of the vehicle if a person is engaged in an activity that is not necessary to the operation of the vehicle, and that actually impairs our would reasonably be expected to reject a expected to impair -- or would be expected to impair their driving ability.
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in 2010, washington made texting ban ana primary offense. where legislators do not just said let's check the box, we finished the issue. state legislators will reexamine their loss. as a result, sometimes they will go back and treat theweek them e necessary. state legislators across the country are committed to improving the safety of our nation's roads. as we all know, the legislative process does not always move at a swift pace. states are not in session -- some sessiostates were not in session in 2010.
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i do not think this is one area -- i do think this is one area where we could see all, if not most states enact legislation. n.c.l. will continue to serve as a resource on this issue. this slide provides links to a number of resources we have on distracted driving, and i encourage you all to visit them. thank you for the opportunity to be here today and i look forward to questions from the audience. [applause] >> pink you, molly. that was a great, comprehensive study that we've seen from the legislative purpose expectpersp. there is no question that secretary lahood's pas leadership is a huge part of the reason we have seen so much
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activity on this issue. ntt has been right behind him on this issue. -- and katie has been right behind him on this issue. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. it is an honor and privilege to speak to you today. we have been very busy since the last summit doing all the things we promise to do and so much more. distracted driving has obtains so much notoriety that webster defined it as the word of 2009. it explains its choice as a sign of the times that reflects our ongoing romance with all things digital mobile and the enhanced capabilities they provide. this morning you have already heard some of the statistics, and you will hear a lot more before the day ends. the risks of distracted driving simply cannot be an order. -- cannot be ignored.
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last year at the summit he stressed the need for individual responsibility, just as he did this morning, when it comes to transportation safety, but he also recognized the government can and should play a role. for that reason that last year's summit, he announced a series of concrete actions that the federal government and d.o.t. with takeover the next 12 months to learn more about the risks posed by distracted driving. our effects today have focused principally, although not exclusively, on texting because research shows it poses a considerably higher safety risk than other sources of driver distraction. the cornerstone of our regulatory efforts is president
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obama and executive order concerning federal leadership on reducing text messaging while driving. at last year's summit, the secretary announced the president has signed this landmark legislative order and that all federal employees and contractors were required to adhere to the terms of the order by december 30, 2009. i am pleased to report the executive order was successfully implemented throughout the federal government by the december 30 deadline of last year, and all federal employees and contractors are now banned from taxi texting while driving vehicles. specifically the order to not text while driving privately- owned vehicles when they are on official government business. the operative term of the order
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is text or text messaging. that is defined as of readings from or entering into data for the purpose of taxitexting, emailing, or pimm engaging in any other form of electronic data retrieval or information. the president's order sends a very clear signal that distracted driving is dangerous and unacceptable and the federal government tends to lead by example. in addition to the president's order, the dot has taken a number of regulatory actions to reduce or to eliminate the use of electronic devices well trading vehicles or operating transportation equipment. the secretary's earlier mentioned the three significant activities, and i will spend a little bit more time discussing those. first of all, the federal motor carrier safety administration today released a final rule
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banning texting by drivers operate trucks and motor coaches. this rule reflects the latest research on destruction and replaces a guidance document that took effect earlier this year. specifically the role amends the safety act to permit texting pas by drivers operating drivers by the interstate commerce. it imposes strict sanctions for failure to appear to the wall, including state or local laws that prohibit texting. there were 400 comments received on a proposed rule with only a handful of comments opposed to the ba andn, and thosn. this applies broadly to all drivers of commercial driver vehicles and all drivers holding a commercial driver's license, absent an expres.
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the pharaoh -- the federal railroad administration finalize a rule that imposes broad restrictions on the use of mobile telephones plan and other electronic devices fire roared operating employees. this is predicated on those recent scientific research, but unlike the other rule, it is broader than texting because of a series of very serious accidents that were attributable to distractions from personal electronic devices. the most recent incident occurred in june 2008 when a railroad employee was struck and killed because he was on his personal cellphone and unintentionally walked in front
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of an ongoing train. under the new rules, our road employee shall not use up an electronic device of any kind of that would interfere with an employee of safety-related duties. the rules will take in effect of within 30 days of the federal register. the third rule is a proposed rules issued today by the pipeline and hazardous material administration. that rule mirrors the ban on testinn texting. in addition to rule making, we have been very busy issuing guidance and policy to clarify existing statutory regulatory authorities. for instance, in april htthe faa
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peet issued a statement that engaging in tasks not directly related to required light duties, including the use of personal electronic devices, constitutes a city press that violates flight safety standards. the advisory was prompted in a significant part by an event that occurred last october, and many of you never call this, because it was widely covered in the news. the incident involved a northwest airlines flight with 144 passengers aboard traveling from san diego to minneapolis. the plane over include the destination by more than 150 miles before air traffic controllers could get the attention of the pilots. after the incident, the pilot in the first officer acknowledged they have been distracted while using personal laptop computers and discussing the airline crew scheduling procedures. the safety administration has also issued an advisory bulleted
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just an aug. remind owners and operators of natural gas and hazardous liquid pipelines of the risk associated with the use of personal all electronic devices by individuals performing operations or maintenance activities on the pipelines. the advisory and bridges operators to integrate into the written procedures are appropriate controls regarding the use of such devices. lastly, the federal transit administration has issued a dear colleague letter wrote urging public safety operators to of all u.s. options for reducing the risk associated with distracted driving and evaluating policies that best fit with their operations in while effectively addressing the risks improperly using cell phones devices. in addition, mali was talking
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about the state level. -- molly was talking a minute ago about the state level. they successfully completed simple legislation last february, and that has been available to the states as they work legislatively. all of these efforts represent tremendous strides forward, but d.o.t. has much more work ahead of us. we will continue to work with the states, local governments, and all of our stakeholders to a valuate appropriate next steps. -- to evaluate the appropriate next steps. we will use our authority to confront the risks.
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if there are other more appropriate means to address the risk, we will address that as well. i thank you for your time today, and i look forward to your questions. [applause] >> thank you for the summary of the textbook example in the role government can play on a very important issue. as one of several research-based organizations in the room, i can tell you that a lot of us do not take any action that is not based on research. that is why it isn'a path please
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to introduce dan mcgee from the university of iowa. [applause] >> i am going to talk about some of what has been going on in the last year, not necessarily from the results perspective, but what kind of methodologies and where we are going to go from here. if you look at the history of driver distraction, up in the upper left-hand corner, one of the first that is was done by a professor at the university of toronto. this examined the attention to a man requires to drive. one of the things that is very important in developing the theoretical boundaries of our attention what we tried is
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understanding how long we can look away from the road. this device that he invented allows him to press a button and see how long he can go without looking. this looks like a pretty goofy contraption, but his work is foundational and extremely important to what we do in research today. after he published that very important work in 1967, some work that was done at cambridge university brown and colleagues really study the first telephone driving. in the next 20 years or so we found 30 different scientific articles that started looking at specific issues in driver distraction. 1983, a conference was founded looking at issues with regard to attention and driving.
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then we lifted the last 10 years and give you a little histogram of how we're doing in terms of the scientific literature. what we see is a pretty dramatic increase over the years, and especially 2004 was an issue which human factors. in the last year there was a pretty dramatic rise. in 2009 we had 65 journal articles. so far this year, until the end of august, had as many as we did in 2009. we're good to have about 100 scientific journal articles and driver distraction-year. -- we're going to have about 100 scientific journal articles in driver distraction this year. we can now get into the vehicle and look at teenagers and others texting and how long they look opera road relative to what the
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professor did in the mid-1960's. over the last year we have seen a really phenomenal increase in the interval severity and research. -- enter disciplinary -- interdisciplinary research. you could really see the expansion of the interests in this topic is really stunning to look at. we have a number of international conferences that we found it at the university of iowa. the virginia tech research, and the second international conference on driver distraction and attention. the scientific community is really getting much more diverse in this topic, as well as
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reported on these for many different conferences as well. when you start to take a look at the kinds of tools that will use in research, those are also devolving our jobs as scientists is really to paint a picture, sometimes it is clear what the picture is made up, other times it is very fuzzy. we have very tightly controlled laboratory research from scanners that can tell us exactly how the brain changes under different kinds of attention demand. we use simulators with the national advance driving simulator. we use field experiments. finally, crashed in epidemiology data to understand how these
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kinds of mechanisms work. along this continuant we have the basic research that has experimental control where we can ask very specific questions and get fairly unambiguous results to understand the underlying mechanisms. as we move across the spectrum, we lose that control, even though what we see in the real world is quite compelling, it is more difficult for us to control and understand how that generalizes to the greater population. one of the things we're continually doing is searching for the proverbial cold standards in scientific methods. but you look in the past 100 years there is something called the scientific method. that is where we asked the question, construct the hypophysis, manipulate and control the variables, run the experiment, the statistical analysis, and out comes hopefully an answer that will
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better inform the scientists on the issue. now with the revolving disk destructor research -- now with the evolving distracted driving research, we have a new message. -- method. we filter observations rather than manipulate the variables. in doing this review, what is important to also consider is where the research gaps are and trying to understand and predict where the trends are going. we know that social interaction from twitter to facebook, we are
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constantly connected to our digital world. those kinds of communication patterns are very critical to understand. those are one of the areas where there is a big gap. we have many different kinds of enterprises out there from iphones to blackberries. we do not know a lot about the differences in those kinds of enterprises and how those results in more less distraction. we also have continual change and use and the devices. historically talking on the phone was very big. now we are finding texting and social media is usurping talking on the phone. understanding the changing use of the cell phone is critical.
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we have lots of areas and understanding how data compares across platforms from simulators to others. these are very complementary approaches. we have mitigation technologies that dr. window will be talking about later on today. -- that dr. linda will be talking about later on today. we know drivers will choose when and when not to use the phone. we need to understand more about that. epidemiology of distraction crashes. we need to give law enforcement reported more details, asking more questions, requesting cell phones documentation for different kinds of crashes so that we can really document this kind of activity. we also need to understand a lot in social norms research. we know a lot about smoking in
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public and how that has transformed over time. we have a major social trends that helped occurred in the past few years. let's look of the underpinnings to move forward. finally the word addiction has been mentioned several times. we feel extremely compelled to look at calls. these are very personal attachments to us. finally, we really need to find more innovation. we have a fabulous research program already, because it is so intricate disciplinary it does not fit into a n.i.h. model. we need to take a look at this
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so we can develop important theories so we can prevent -- paint a brighter picture of how this works in fits together. finally, i have a last flight here from of bemis iowa painter, grant woods, who painted a picture in 1935 called the deaths on the ridge road. it is really a fabulous piece of work that describes a crash in iowa. i look forward to your questions and a bit. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you. it will be the research he talked about that will drive a lot of the actions of many of us going forward. i think all of us know the difference between laws without enforcement and loss with
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visible enforcement and just how important a role of law enforcement is. here to share up perfectiva pers captain tryce. >> first of all, i want to know where i think it one of those fancy helmet so i can block things out in my life. law enforcement is ready and anxious to focus on distracted driving. we know we have the ability to change motorists behavior and change their perception. we have seen this before. we have seen this in click it or tickets. the tool we were using to produce this was high- visibility enforcement. what about high visibility enforcement? i think it is the business model that relates to customer service. we have a satisfied customer for
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every one satisfied customer, they will tell three people. for every dissatisfied customer, they will tell 300 people. we want to go after the dissatisfied customers. we want to make their life uncomfortable by handing out tickets. they will go out and get the message out to everyone and let everyone else know this is not right. why not distracted driving enforcement? for that, the secretary ray lahood, gave us an opportunity to test this theory out. we put together an enforcement program that was very successful. we had a drop in cell phone use of 38%.
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next slide please. the person i want to talk about was the fact that we put bolster the other. i think goals are extremely important, because if you do not know where you're going, you're not going to be able to get there. for that i borrowed wisdom from earl nightingale. i encourage you to look on the internet tonight and type on the strangest secret and you will be pleasantly surprised about a 20 minute conversation. i want to borrow a metaphor. if you take a ship into harbor and put a captain and crew on it, they have a destination and know where they're going, 99 times out of 100 they will get there. if you take another ship and did not put a captain and crew on it and start the engine and let it go, it will probably not make an ad of the harbor.
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it is the same with law enforcement. we need to have goals. i got together with my staff, and we said what can we reasonably expect to do on the roadways? my staff came back and said i think that we could probably interact with one driver every 15 minutes talking on the cellphone and ticket that person. -- talking on a cell phone and ticket that person. so that is what we did. we wrote companion tickets and boosted our ticket rate up to eight tickets per hour. basically one ticket every seven minutes. we did that by paring offenses. next light. -- slide.
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here are some the enforcement strategies we use. the most successful strategy was the road side watch. i have a quote former writer back in the 1600's. usually the best results coming from doing the simplest of things. we stood on the road and watched driver behavior. we also use mobile patrols, having police officers blend in with traffic. we did not find that nearly as successful. we also use checkpoints where we would employ a spotter and reader oadio ahead, but we did t have a lot of success with that. we also look down from on high. we would find roadways that had
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in basements where we could sit on top and look down and the passenger cars to see what they were doing. he was very easy to see driver behavior from up high and looked down. this also leads to enforcement vehicles. this would be an suv. obviously i have already discussed about the pairing of offenses. pretty much for every ticket we could issue, which could issue tickets for following too closely, speeding. our indicators. keeping eye on the driver. just like with buckle up new york, you can see what operator is doing.
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very easy to do. we would look for a bone to the year -- phone to the ear. we'll look at drivers eyes. when they were looking in their lap. maintaining lane position, vigilance of issues, the judgment problems. we saw all of those things when people were talking on their phone and taxiexting. when we saw someone falling to closely and we ask them what they're doing, invariably they would say we were texting. it is very important to know your road. the city had a substantially more tickets. i attribute that not to the
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aggressiveness of officers, i attribute that to officers knowing their roads. sheriff's officers wear our guest and did not have as much knowledge as we did, so that had to think on the fly and develop strategies, but that came on strong towards the end of the waves. we would focus our enforcement year business districts because we found that is when people are conducting business on the phone. we look for places where we could easily get into traffic. we like the use of an unmarked cars. as the way when qana became harder and harder to touch people -- as the wave went on pas it became harder and harder to catch people. i want to leave you with one store that illustrates how much we really have to do former
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distracted driving enforcement. we had a car crash in their jurisdiction involving one of those big double decker buses, and it would be comical if it was not so tragic. he hit a bridge. we have never had a fatality from someone striking a bridge. we have had tractor-trailer's hit it. over the years we have developed engineering things to address this problem. it starts out with a sign, then there is flashing lights, and then i have outlined a bridge and fluorescent orange. you cannot miss it. this bus driver was busily typing on his gps because he missed the turn and slammed into the bridge and killed four people in tears and injured 20 on the bus. what is ironic and tells us we
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have so much work to do is the newspaper's exploded the next day and the following weeks after the crash, and everyone was talking about the bad killer bridge. it was the bridge that killed the people. certainly it was not. we can change that infrastructure but will not change outcome and we do not have drivers paying attention to the road. thank you. [applause] >> into. there's no question as to the effectiveness of enforcement. -- thank you. we wish to many more dissatisfied customers. now is the time to open up to questions and answers from panelists. we wanted to start with some of
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the group here. if there are any questions from our soon-to-be panelists or moderators. >> my name is jeff haley. i am with the distracted driving foundation, and non- profit. our mission is to coordinate the technology solution to address this. i have not heard any technology solutions. >> dr. linda angel will talk about that specifically later on this afternoon. i think we will wait for her presentation about that. that is a great interest to the research community, because one of the things we look for in product design and general as you want to design the hazard out of the product. i think automating some of those
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things will be an important next step in how we deal with mobile phone use. >> other questions? >> a question for dan. you mentioned you thought the n.i.h. model would be useful. can you give more comments on what you think the methodology would be. >> you have been investigated driven-research that is grounded in basic science. the theories that are developed from that research apply very much directly to many different products and applications. most of the research that is being done now is very applied. i think there is one model that we could fill and in terms of creating new innovation.
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n.i.h. has much longer grant cycle sat look at specific issues that are published in journals that have archival qualities. 100 years from now, a professor worthe professor's work will still be cited. >> any other panelists? other questions? >> thank you. my question is for chief tryse. syracuse is my home town. i can relate to the map be share you showed. was there any enforcement campaign prior to the enforcement aspect of it? secondly, after the program, is
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there consideration of any follow-up on a public education of mentor program which are based on the screen saying we are still watching? [laughter] >> this program was modeled after the click it or ticket program. there was extensive research done before, and followed up with the public safety campaign, which they had advertising spots on the television. we did a lot of interviews telling everyone. we were not trying to hide. we wanted people to know we are going to be out there so they could change the behavior on their own. i believe some people did, but then we had to be the force. >> would you mind giving us your names before you start?
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>> my name is richard with john hopkins university. for officer tryce, surely you looked around for technological solutions to your enforcement objective. for speeding, for example, we have cameras and what we used to call radar guns, what similar technologies the defined to aid in your enforcement in syracuse? thank you. >> actually we just use good old-fashioned watching traffic. it was that simple and that easy. no technology really needed, although we supplemented by checking people's speed. other than that, it was very simple. it is easy to see people's behavior on the road.
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>> this is for capt. trice as well. i am from state roads alliance in massachusetts. do you have any specific advice for enforcement of the texting portion of its? as we are going towards enforcement, we are getting a lot of questions from police about what their job actually is and how much they should move forward with this? there is a little push back from the police end of things. >> i would say that traffic enforcement is really law- enforcement. 7% of all the criminals that have to get to and from crimes by using a car. -- 70% of all the criminals have to get to and from crimes by using a car.
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traffic enforcement is law enforcement. secondly, i hope your texting law his primary. hours in new york state was secondary. we found a lot of difficulty enforcing that. if they are primary, and leaves no question and a police officer's mind. other than that, i think law enforcement does need help in the fact that we are expected to do a lot of things with a minimal amount of resources. it is very difficult for small police departments to have the luxury of the traffic division like my department does. it is difficult for police departments to dedicate people to do this type of enforcement, even though they wanted because they see the results of it, but they're going call to call to call. ines eyes when programs come out -- it is nice 1 programs come out.
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>> i have a series of questions from the web participants. molly, the first one is for you. we have talked all morning long about commercial drivers, but for all the other drivers on the road a lot of people have the mistaken belief that we can create national laws to address the issue. can you give them advice on how they might best work with state legislators who are responsible for implementing tractraffic safety laws at the state level? also, the police officer just mentioned that primary enforcement is really important and how could you roll that into
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your advice to the? >> as we can see, there has been a lot of momentum on this issue in state legislatures. we talked about that from 2007 until today 30 states in the majority of them are primary. i believe it provides opportunity to take advantage of that momentum. almost every state has at some point introduce some legislation regarding distracted driving, and as citizens you can go in and meet with your state legislators if this is a priority. ask them to hold a shearing on it or introduce legislation. -- ask them to hold a hearing on it or introduce legislation. . .
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saw the regulation and think it is the right thing to do. but it definitely looks like patchwork. in a few weeks, i am driving from texas to florida, so i have to transition three or four laws zones, and that is frustrating. can you comment on providing, beyonce commercial, a uniformity of minimal federal regulation and whether it will happen. >> your question is directed at molly and katie. >> that is a very good question. when we look at regulation that the federal level, we first have to evaluate whether we have the authority to regulate for a specific mode. in the case of passenger vehicles, we do not have authority at the federal level to regulate. so that does go to the state, although one of the reasons that we worked with them and pull
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together a diverse group of stakeholders to develop the sample lot is we wanted to encourage states to take action and to make it as easy as possible for them to adopt legislation that was a consensus legislation based on this diverse group. basically, we start with the research, and we said, where are the biggest risks? then week but the options and whether regulation makes sense. and if it makes sense, whether we have the authority to do it at the federal level. if not, we partner with the state. or in the case of the federal transit administration, we have been pursuing new safety legislation because there was a void. they do not have the authority that the department believes is needed to set minimal safety standards to public transit systems. so we look at all options and pursue all options for the best possible results available at the time.
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>> if we do not mind, you can bring the microphone over here. >> i am from the neurological institute and the university of illinois. secretary lahood's home town. the topic of drowsy driving is separate from the topic of distracted driving. but it is important and complicated district driving. i think it is worth introducing the topic of drowsy driving as a problem that we have lapses in and performance, which can make it hard to drive. it can make it harder to text message even when you're not driving. drowsy drivers, when there drowse, might pick up the phone, which is especially dangerous, to send a text message to make a call when drowsy. so that topic is notable as a compounding problem for distraction. i am curious to know if the doctor is doing any research that combines your sleep
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colleagues and your own research in your driving simulators? >> that is a great question and an important point to make. if you look it crashed crosses in terms of even at defining and attention of drowsiness and sleepiness, it plays a role in that as well. overall, crash rates are affected by fatigue sleepy drivers. in terms of our own research and a number of other labs around the country are looking at things like obstructive sleep apnea and so forth in the driving area. as part of those studies, the will generally have a control group of sleepy drivers as well, but we have not included destruction as part of those experiments. sort of like what i talked about earlier about experimental
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control. we want to isolate the individual factors in these experiments to understand the fundamental mechanisms. having said that, once we start in began to understand this complex mechanisms, we can then start to add on additional factors to those studies. i think it would be an interesting area to pursue, but we have lots of other basic needs as well. thanks. that is a great idea combination.
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>> you look at the rise of the smart phone in itself and how sophisticated it is, and the combination of social media and how we communicate basically, that is really changing. we're talking less. that is something i think we really do need to understand better along the basic research lines as well as how is this social change occurring.
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nielsen group, for instance, those interested in getting out and understanding media, how they can sell more advertising, just published another report a few months ago that shows another dramatic increase in the number of text messages that younger drivers were sending relative to talking. and that is translating into the upper age is now as well. because those young people are growing up. as parents, where text messaging our kids. that is the most efficient way many times to communicate. so talking, i think, could be actually going down. clearly, typing and reading as much more distracting than merely talking, not that i like to put them on a continuum, but we know the conductivity is intensely distracting relative to merely having a conversation. >> i will say from the national safety council perspective, i
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completely agree about the dangers in the growing use of all sorts of ways to use hand- held devices. our own research says that the 20% of crashes that are caused by distractions with cell phones and text message devices, texting is 3%. 25% is cell phone use. clearly, there's a lot more exposure, and it is a major impact on distraction in itself on crashes. we would agree with you on that. i know there's a couple questions over here, too.
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former -- formal processes are informally. we want to know as much as we can to make the best, most well- informed decisions that we can. >> and we bring legislators together several times a year and have meetings.
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obviously, we have had sessions on this issue. if you like to talk, there is a potential. continue to look at this issue and provide legislators information on this. we want to make sure we provide them all perspectives and all information. we welcome the opportunity to have you provide information to state legislatures. >> and i think from the research sites, there are professional societies. >> jeff, houston-galveston area. my question is for the captain. it is in regards to self-
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recrimination. how many folks -- how -- heavy recorded how many folks who have pulled over? especially since it is a secondary lock in new york. how many folks actually admitted that there were text messaging when you pulled them over? >> first of all, the talking on the cell phone is primary. text messaging is secondary. surprisingly, we found -- and i think it was because the media campaign. a lot of people were resigned when we pulled them over and that we stop you for text messaging or for the cell phone. a lot of them just not father and say, you got me. we already did the media campaign. so they knew it was coming, and they got caught. we found people were pretty much a cooperative, and we did not get enough -- a lot of push back like we have with other things for people throw fits. we did not get a lot of that. i think people embraced the fact and knew that the jig is up.
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>> ok, back there. >> good morning. i am from scenic america. this question is about the research that is out there on distracted driving, the 100 car naturalistic study that says if you take your eyes off the roof more than 1.8 seconds, we're looking at the margins of additional technology along the roadway and the forms of signs. on premise, off premise, full motion videos, a seven-eight stories high. it's your university any research on that? and the fact and nobody has any power to turn that off. they can turn the cell phone often not text message. but when that huge sign is facing them, they are drawn to it automatically. is there something looking at the full picture of distracted driving that we should be looking at as well to make inroads in trying to eliminate,
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if not reduce, the form of destruction? >> i think you're talking about electronic billboards as another area. and i see a doctor monk from the federal highway ministrations. the federal highways interested in that kind of information as a lot of state and local jurisdictions are as they deal with the planning process. there are a number of publications that have been published from the transportation research board. dr. smiley has a recent article. recently, it surely is hear some more, federal highway didn't international corps of electronic billboards and how policies around the world are being dealt with. it is an ongoing area. i would encourage you to look up a few key publications from them. dr. smiley, chris monk, and the federal highway research program as well. i think there's a lot of interest in that.
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it is a slippery slope as we go from a small sign on the side of the road to these enormous signs to standard billboards and how you design information, how long it is on there, how it is stated in, how attractive it is to the eye. all those things are very important to the context of the overall drive. >> ok. >> good morning. i am and occupational medical opposite -- physician get a i am concern about distracted driving a public health in general. you have the pilot program in syracuse. my question is kind of to the entire panel and kind of deals with civic responsibilities. since we do not have laws that go across the whole united states, what can we do to actually empower citizens to help kind of enforce this? have we considered in the autonomous online databases that
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maybe can khmer to the company but also to the dot or fscsa were concerned citizen can actually report a person -- let's just say a passenger in the car can report another driver that is text messaging while driving? especially in the areas where we do not have as much enforcement. i think there needs to be some type of way where we can empower and educate people, even if it sends them something in the mail this is this is a warning for text messaging and driving because it puts people at risk. >> any of our panelists? >> i think that is a really interesting suggestion, and it is something that we will consider. i guess i wonder -- those are the types of things you want to verify before you would have
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somebody send out a letter to the person. but if you have a, you want to submit to, please do. thank you for the comment. >> ok, we will go over here. then we might need a microphone. >> national organization for use the safety. my question is for the whole panel. many youths are growing up with cell phones, becoming part of their life before driving is. my question is, how could you instill these behaviors of do not text message and dry early enough that it can be coinciding with growing up with cell phones? so it is not all of the seventh. you have been text messaging all your life and now you cannot behind the wheel. >> i think that is a great question. when i grew up, there was no seat belts. you did not put kids in car
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seats. my kids growing up, they do not even get in to the car double best they even tell me to put on at the seat belt. your question is a valid. it is why we are starting enforcement campaigns to change cultures and the neighbors to do some social norming tuesday is not right. it is true. this technology has been introduced to us and will not dealt with in the problems that can occur. >> i do think changes will happen. with that generations. we talk about the click it or a ticket, and now we're up to 85% of the people using seat belts. i am speaking on behalf of myself. i get in my car. i have a two and a half year- old, and i get in the back seat. it also one of those people who cannot even plot of the driveway without a seatbelt. but my two work -- my two-year- old will tell me to put my seat belt on. he will always put his seat belt on because he does not know any
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differently. again, it is the personal responsibility of teaching teenagers, young children, and as small as 5 and 6 when the star to play with these different technologies, that it is just not something you do well driving. again, it cannot just be legislative, and enforcement, but there is a personal responsibility side. >> i agree with that. personal responsibility is a big, big part of the solution. that means being a good role model for your children, for your friends, for your family members. i was visiting my sister earlier this year who has a 16-year-old daughter who just got her license, and it freaked me out because i thought she was channeling secretary lahood. her daughter was getting ready to go to soccer practice, edgy patter blackberry in her hand. her mother looked at her daughter and said, you know where that goes when you're driving, don't you? she goes, yes, mom, it goes on
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the glove department. if that was powerful to me of how important good parenting and good role models of behavior is to instilling the right kind of safety line of behavior in young people. >> great question. i think this sort of a multi modal approach in terms of technology, law enforcement, and social norm changes. if you look at alcohol and driving a generation ago, people thought it was actually ok to have a few beers, a six-pack, before they drove home, and that was pretty common. we're interested on the research side, how we speed up the social norm change. you could say this might take a generation to change, but if you look at smoking in public places, in just a few years that has taken place and has been greatly excepted. i think it is something we really need to study. >> sorry to enter low.
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the other area we need to work hard at his driver education programs. we need to teach kids when they're taking driver education, you cannot drive safely with a cell phone or blackberry in your hand. that is one way. i know that you are focused driven and others, and i thank you for your efforts. i think most drivers education programs are now private. some people paid to do it. and in most states, i believe driver education is required before you can get a license. if we need to just get driver education programs and to have a lesson on not using cell phones and texting devices, number one. number two, we're going to work with our friends in the technology industry to maybe think about when you go in to buy your phone, maybe there's a big warning label on the box, do not use this device while you're driving. our friends in the technology
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business want to help us. one way is when somebody purchase is one of these devices, that perhaps there is some kind of the warning that can be either given by the salesperson or put right on the box the way we put warning labels on cigarettes and other products that are sold. but the driver education, to me, is absolutely critical in terms of really trying to train young people that it is not possible. let me just say, while i have the microphone, i want to thank janet, and i am sorry i did not do this during the remarks but of the national safety council has been extraordinary in their help with focus driven and helping to step up our distracted driving campaign. thank you for all that you have done to be helpful to us. >> it is easy to follow that kind of leadership, as you can tell. >> i can add one more thing, i completely agree. one other element we need to
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teach in jurors that is how to be a good passenger. we know that teenage crashes are enormously high when their passengers, but this is exacerbated by the cell phone- related communication that is going on in the vehicle as well. so teaching had to be a good passenger as well as a very important. an extra set of eyes can help the driver. >> good morning. i represent roscoe division systems. as an industry, we work with the technology side, leaning more toward the training and verification of compliance with drivers. on the commercial side and on the public school buses. my question is that a year ago this past april, there was an
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exemption put out that allowed for the placement of accident event recorders, which is one of the technologies that we use in compliance verification and in training, to be placed in certain areas of the windshields. on the state-to-state level, we run into a lot of different regulations from state to state and issues were each state has their own regulations. and it is very hard to work within those states to be able to get a blanket approval. the fmcsa with trump the state law when it comes to the commercial vehicles. but in the public sector for school buses and things like this, we run into issues of the different states and how they regulate them. and it really ties our hands. we have been promoting these accident even recorders as a training tool for driver's training, for driver recertification, and also for
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driver evaluations. and we have a lot of training companies using these, especially in canada. i was wondering, on the state legislative side, is there anything we can do as an industry to help them work in the state-to-state level with one voice versus going individually state to state to try to get regulations that are written? all the states and to be moving toward this, but that a written more in compliance with what the national regulations that are being proposed and actually being brought out? is there any way that we can help to work with the states on that? thank you. >> well, i am not as familiar with the exact regulations you're talking about so far as the technology and the school buses. but so far as, you know, working with state legislators, again, i give you the invitation to contact me and talk directly
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with me. ncsl, on a whole, does not develop model legislation for states to adopt because, you know, the one size does not fit all, and we want to make sure states have flexibility in the way they approach legislation in their state. but i would at least welcome a conversation with you if there's an opportunity that we can at least talk to a group of state legislators about some of the concerns. i would be more than happy to provide that. >> i think we have time for one quick question. we will go back to the web. >> this one is for the captain. in your demonstration project, did you have strong support from the courts? we know that sometimes law enforcement officers are reluctant to enforce laws. if they do not feel it will be followed through in the court system. did you have strong support and can you give advice to other communities in law enforcement
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officers? >> that is an excellent question oftentimes we do not have the support of the courts. but in this particular case, we did, probably because secretary lahood was involved. [laughter] we have 80% conviction rate. for any other type of offense, the conviction rate is about 50%. so we were quite pleased with it. >> now you have suggestions for how you were able to get them involved other than bringing in the secretary? [laughter] >> we tried to reach out to the courts. we tried to establish a dialogue with them. but it is difficult because the courts see themselves as independent. independent arbitrators of the truth. so they do not want to seem biased with the police or with the defense counsel. oftentimes they're very standoffish. it comes down to education and
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understanding the reasoning behind distracted driving, behind impaired driving, or behind seat belt enforcement and why we're doing this. so that is what is important, probably education for the judges by somebody who is independent before somebody as big as mr. lahood. >> he did not mean physically. [laughter] >> thank you all for your questions. i know some of the panelists will probably be around during the day to answer some more questions you might not have had a chance to ask. i want to say special thanks to secretary lahood for some of today but for your unbelievably relentless leadership on this. there's no question that a lot of the activity you are about to that was a direct result of your leadership and the department of transportation's leadership on this. even more important than the activity is the lives that have been saved in the injuries that have been prevented. for that, many folks owe you a great deal of gratitude. a special thank you to our panel for the activities involving all
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of what you talked about today and for your leadership and support. we look forward, all of us, to continuing to work together to sustain the momentum so we can save more lives and prevent far more injuries. thank you to all of you guys. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. i am deputy secretary for the department of transportation, and i am standing between you and lunch. so i will be brief and focused.
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i would like to first thank you for your attentiveness and for your ongoing energy through the last year on distracted driving. secretary lahood made clear and compelling case earlier this morning to continue the national campaign to end district driving in the united states. as we have heard from our panelists at this morning, we have come a long way in the last year. but there's far more for all of us to accomplish in the months and years ahead. to maintain our momentum, we will need to use every tool at our disposal, including solid research, sensible regulations, effective education and outreach, aggressive law enforcement, and innovative technology. we will need to continue building and maintaining the effective partnerships with our friends in the telecommunications and auto industries. we will need to continue working closely with the growing community of advocates or so passionate about this issue. to understand all that is at
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stake in who are key to helping us educate and inform the public. importantly, we must recognize that the dangers of destruction did not begin and end behind the wheel disc -- behind the windshield of a car, bus, truck. this problem affects literally every form of transportation. it affects every pilot and conductor, whether he or she is on the verge of a coast guard cutters, the cockpit of a jumbo jet, or the cab of a freighter passenger train. make no mistake, destructive behavior is a crosscutting, systemwide issue, and it is going to require crosscutting solutions to get a handle on the problem. the time to broaden our campaign is now, because distracted operators are causing tragic accidents everywhere. over the last year, dot has moved swiftly to put new measures in place to prevent more crashes and more deaths throughout our transportation system. consider the following, in september 2008, 24 innocent people were killed when a
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natural link commuter train collided head-on with a freight train in california. this was the deadliest accident in the history of their operations. the national transportation safety board concluded earlier this year that the crash occurred because the engineer was text messaging, causing him to miss a rest signal while operating the train, in clear violation of company rules. within days of this accident, federal railroad administration issued an emergency order containing stringent restrictions on use of electronic devices by railroad operating employees. fra followed up with a proposal that would ban the improper use of electronic devices, including cell phones, by on-duty real employees, including engineers, conductors, switchman, and other key crew members. as you heard this morning, a final regulation on this is being postedf today beingra has also launched a confidential
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close call reporting system that encourages real volunteers, rail workers to voluntarily and anonymously report close call incidents that could have triggered an accident or injury. amtrak join this innovative program this month. we're confident that this will generate new insight into the best ways to identify the root causes of near misses, including perhaps of greater distractions, and determine the best strategies and countermeasures to pursue. turning to aviation, as you have also heard, in october 2009, northwest flight 188 overshot its minneapolis destination by more than 100 miles and failed to maintain radio contact with the control tower. as a result, hundreds of fun with the passengers were in the hands of two and a tinge of pilots. the ntsb found that the pilots had been poring over a laptop and were distracted by conversation that had nothing to do with flying the aircraft safely. the faa took action against the
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crew and has since issued new regulations and guidance for operators, asking the airlines to address the issue of destruction through their crew training programs and to create a safety culture to control cockpit distractions. and on our waterways, attention safety is paramount importance. that is why our maritime administration is making sure each generation of mariners and roll with the u.s. merchant marine academy and the others did academy programs to learn to avoid risky behaviors aboard any vessel they serve on. the bottom line is transportation-related accidents caused by any form of distractions are completely preventable. there should be no near misses and no loss of life. and there are no excuses for losing focus when you are in control of a boat, train, a plain, or any other motorized machine. so we will continue looking for answers. we will build on decades of knowledge and wisdom gained from our ongoing fight against drunk
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driving. we will find ways to apply what we have learned about telling distracted driving on our race to the rest of the transportation industry. we should determine, for example, whether new research techniques that enable us to observe and measure our drivers behave in real time situations on the road, traffic, and night, and so forth. and the extent to which education and awareness, coupled with strict penalties and enforcement, can be adapted beyond our road-based pilot program in hartford and syracuse. this line of investigation can help translate the lessons learned so far into workable, measurable solutions that will work across the board. our department as already had it in this direction. i have charged our department of transportation safety council, which i chair, to bring together all of our operating administration's administrators and chief safety officers to look at ways to leverage the
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rate of 60 research practices and programs across air, land, and see. we have a tremendous opportunity to break new ground here and make traveling even safer across the spectrum. so let's take the next step. i am asking all of you to join us in the broader campaign to apply what we have already learned and what we have yet to discover about changing behavior is, punishing violators, and making our waterways, railways, and there was ever than ever. we've all your contributions, and we need your expertise and insight as we face this challenge together. thank you very much. keep up the good work. [applause] >> well, this concludes our morning program. what a great morning of great experts. in just want to lead a round of
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applause for all the speakers we have had this morning. i think the amount of knowledge and content is just great. so thank you for all the speakers this morning. [applause] so our next program will be the lunch program, which will be held in the grand ballroom north. if you go out the stores, take a right. you'll see it on your right. you have just a few minutes before we start lunch. if you want to drop by, we want to thank the national organization for use the city for sponsoring the exhibit hall. it has a wide range of exhibitors including all entrepreneurs and advocacy groups and the likes. so take a look at that. we will see you at lunch in a few minutes. thanks.
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>> the transportation department's distracted driving senate is taking a break. they are due back at 1:10 eastern with a panel looking at communications and media coverage of distracted driving. we will have more from the
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daylong event in just a moment. a congressional update. the house not in session. the senate dabbled in this morning to continue work on the fiscal year 2011 defense programs bill. a key procedural vote is set for 2:30 p.m. eastern. lawmakers will return from their weekly party caucus lunches and sake of that vote at that time. we take a look at the legislation. the bill contains language that would allow the president to repeal the don't ask don't tell policy regarding gays and lesbians in the military. also, some language which would create a pathway to citizenship to the children of some illegal aliens. the bill would expand abortion services available at military hospitals. today, the white house issued a statement supporting don't ask don't tell, this from the hill newspaper a few moments ago. the clock is winding down a key procedural vote in the senate that could determine the fate of a massive defense policy bill. the white house issued a
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statement of administration policy in support of the provision of the defense bill that would appeal the ban known as don't ask don't tell. again, a key vote on the measures set for 2 akaka 30 p.m. eastern today. that will be on our companion network, c-span2. again, we're waiting for the transportation department's destructive driving summit to resume at about the 1:10 eastern. until then, some of the opening remarks including secretary ray lahood's welcome from earlier today. >> good morning. good morning. i am the administrator of the research and innovative technology administration.
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this is from the white house. it reads, i am pleased to send greetings to those participating in the 2010 distracted driving summit. under the leadership of my outstanding secretary of transportation, rail lahood, my administration has worked to reduce deaths and injuries on our nation's roads. last year, i signed an executive order prohibiting federal employees from text messaging while driving on government business or when using a government device. we remain committed to increasing public safety and reducing the number of deaths caused by a distracted driving. and i am encouraged by events like this summit which and to address this dangerous behavior. your efforts are helping saved countless lives and creating a safer america for us all. i wish you the best is to come together to tackle this important issue. signed, barack obama. [applause]
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is started a year ago with a focused effort by secretary lahood to bring together law enforcement, researchers, legislatures, victims, and other stakeholders, for a vibrant, constructive discussion about the impact of destruction and how we a nation can combat it. with the first suspected driving some, the secretary announced an america that it is time to get serious about distracted driving. and america took notice. it is a platform for a comprehensive. under his leadership, the u.s. department of transportation has taken aggressive action and setting rules for counterterrorist carell operators, school bus drivers, and others.
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dot and launched a web site to provide the public with resources about the issue along with more information about how to help tackle the problem. the national nonprofit organization focused-driven was established in january by jennifer smith to attended the distracted driving summit after losing her mother in a tragic car crash in 2008, caused by a driver talking on his cell phone. modeled after the highly successful mothers against drunk driving. focused estrogan is the first destructive driving the victim'' advocacy organization. state and local government strengthen regulation and enforcement of these of hand- held devices while behind the wheel. . is banning text messaging while driving. taking a further.
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it builds upon the past successes of similar campaigns like click it or take it. most importantly, the american public is truly beginning to recognize the very real danger posed by cell phones and other distractions behind the wheel. the secretary of the size over and over again that all distractions are a threat to roadways 60. getting the word out has the greatest impact on this issue because no law or organization can be as effective as the driver making the right choice. in the grand scheme of things, 12 months is really not that long of the time, however, when it comes to roadway safety, it can make all the difference. complacency can be a matter of life and death.
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lives are saved each state and life changing injuries are prevented. this is true whether you are a researcher studying new ways to reduce distractions from the road or simply someone who makes the right choice and turns their phone off when they get behind the wheel. it is heartening to see across this room so many of the partners that have been part of this. jennifer smith of focus-driven. sandy, the national organization for use safety, and others that have led safety advocacy groups. researchers who have probed the science of distracted driving. law enforcement professionals who figured out ways to enforce the support laws. our partners at the u.s. department of labor, the secretary and dr. david michaels, leader of the occupational safety and health administration. contra prisoners who have developed innovative systems and devices to help address this issue. automakers to realize they are the critical part of the solution. victims of distracted driving
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whose stories provide the stark reality that lead us to action. and hundreds of others in this room who realize the seriousness of the issue and have brought to bear their creativity and resources to address distracted driving. over the last year, i have witnessed tireless efforts by my own colleagues and the leadership team, each of whom have worked with their own teams to ask, what can our agency due to tackle this issue? many of these leaders are here with us today. the federal transit administrator, national highway traffic safety administrator, david stricklin, federal motor carrier safety administrator, federal highway administrator, federal aviation deputy administrator, lifeline and hazardous materials safety administrator. federal railroad administrator. the presence of these leaders today underscores that dot's approach to combating distracted driving is a full-court press
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from those who provide oversight across every mode of transportation. what all of us involved in this effort have in common today or driven not only by the emperor to to deal with this deadly issue to reach a day were no more families have to go through with some of these victims have endured. but we're also driven by a singular leadership of the man who talks about this issue in every speech he gives, to advocate for the resources and policy to advance our attack on distracted driving. it makes clear to all this that we must all be part of the solution. considering all the progress we have made in the last 12 months under the leadership of secretary lahood, imagine what we can accomplish over the next well. please join me in welcoming the u.s. secretary of transportation, ray lahood. [applause] >> welcome back good morning. what a great gathering. thank you all so much for being
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here. peter, thank you to you and your team for helping to organize this day for us, and i want to say special word of thanks to president obama for the privilege that he has given me to serve in this job and the opportunity to focus on an issue that i have become passionate about. i cannot do it without president obama's leadership in giving me this opportunity. i want to thank my colleague, secretary so least -- secretary solis. hilda , thank you for being here. i know when you heard about the osha folks coming here, you said you wanted to be here. and we're grateful for that. we really are. we look forward to your remarks. and a special hello to the people who are participating remotely on www.
11:52 am, particularly the students. i want to thank the extraordinarily talented staff at dot. for those of you who have not had the opportunity to meet our staff, we have been very, very gifted people, people who have come to dot for the right reasons, to carry out the president's agenda but also to really step up and leave it the department in a way that i think people have not seen in the history of the department of transportation. so i am grateful to all of our staff who are here for your leadership. and welcome, everyone, to the second national distracted driving summit. it is hard to believe since we first came together and began the work of assessing and addressing america's distracted driving crisis. and it is hard to believe that
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we have come so far so fast in our campaign to end it. this has become a personal crusade for me. it started about a year ago during and after last year's distracted driving summit. we had invited victims' families to washington to tell their stories. more than 300 people came and listened, many of you were in that audience last year, and i am delighted that you came back. we have even more people gathered today. and thousands participated over the internet, which is what is happening right now. while it is one thing to hear from researchers, academics, and law-enforcement officials, it is another to hear from the parents, children, and siblings of people who were needlessly killed. that night after the summit, i spend time with three of those
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people. jennifer smith, dave and judy teter. we were scheduled to participate in the cable news program. we had a long discussion before the program started. during that conversation, it jennifer, dave, and judy convince me that we should create a group like mothers against drunk driving. the idea for focus-driven, the first national advocacy group devoted to ending distracted driving was born in the studios of cnn. and during the year cents, jennifer, dave, judy and focus- driven and other members have traveled the country doing important and inspiring work, putting a human face on a terrible problem. at last year's summit, we learned that distracted driving is an epidemic. it is an epidemic because everyone has a cell phone, and
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everyone thinks they can use it while driving. you all know this. if i asked for a show fans here, which just not going to do -- [laughter] i know everyone in this room has a cell phone. and i also know that everyone of you has used the cell phone while driving. did not deny it. you know it is true. we are hooked on them. that is why it is an epidemic. people talk about other distractions in cars. hf"bthere is no bigger distractn than people on a cell phone or people text messaging and driving. there is not. you cannot drive safely doing that. i want to say a special word of thanks to the chief of police of washington, d.c. she came to visit me recently about safety issues around our department. and i asked her if she posed some people across the street, her officers, because washington, d.c., has a very good law on text messaging and
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driving and cell phone use. so this morning, as some of you were coming in here, you might have seen washington, d.c., police abbas is issuing tickets. if we're going to change a dangerous behavior, law enforcement has to be a big part of it. i want to say a special word of thanks to the washington, d.c., police chief for her efforts this morning to begin to change the kind of dangerous behavior that has taken place too long in communities all over america, but in particular in washington, d.c. so every time someone takes the focus off the road, even if it is just for aw4o[ minute, the t their lives and the lives of others in danger distracted driving is unsafe, irresponsible, and a split second, its consequences can be devastating. there is no call or e-mail so important that it cannot wait. my advice to people is a buckle up, which 85% of the people do
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today, thanks to our friends who worked long time on the click it or to get program, now 85% of the people in america plugola. so buckle up and put the cell phone in your glove compartment. according to the new report, distracted driving-related crashes caused nearly 5500 deaths and 450,000 injuries during 2009. we believe this data represents only the tip of the iceberg, because police reports in many was a factor in a vehicle crashes. either way, the victims are not statistics. their mothers and fathers, sons in this audience who have birthdays or weddings will tell you exactly what is at stake. last night i met with the families who were participating in a press conference today to tell their heartbreaking
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stories, and i am grateful to them. what i said to themó6l.rzçóñr s not about statistics, but it is about the people behind the statistics. that is what it is about. and so i would like for those people who have come here today to tell their storiesñró, to pe stand and be recognized. [applause] >> so the situation is not without hope. we have seen that drivers can and do change their behavior is. for instance, we have told americans to click it or get a ticket, and we have seen seatbelt use increased 85%, up over 60% over last 15 years.
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we have reminded that americans that if there over the limit, they will get arrested. and although driving under the influence is still a serious problem, you have seen drunk driving fatalities declined by almost 20% between 2006 and 2009. look, 10 years ago, nobody was wearing their seat belts. nobody wanted to wear a seatbelt. today, 85% of the people they get in a car where a seat belt. and you know as well as i do, people said, we will never get drunk drivers off the road. in the old days, our friends in law enforcement would call a cab, get somebody ride home, let them drive home. today that does not happen. law enforcement arrest people. the put them in jail for drunk driving, and they lose their driving privileges. so we are right of the starting gate on distracted driving. we stop for a moment and ask why, we see the ingredients a recipe that only proves effective against destructive
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driving. tough laws. we need good laws. we need good enforcement. we need public education. but most of all, when a personal responsibility. each one of us needs to take personal responsibility. buckle up, but the cell phone and the black. in the glove compartment. that is what is going to take. today we are announcing three new actions consistent with this formula. one, at last year45, we propose097 been a5 commercial40 us and to6 endeavour's from text messaging on the job. today, the proposal becomes the law of the land. two, last year, we proposed a rule restricting train operators from using cell phones in other electronic devices while in the conductor's seat. today that proposal also becomes a final regulation. you know about the accident in california. 20 people were killed because a train driver was text messaging and driving. there is no excuse for that.
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maybe some of you saw the bus driver who was reading his candkindle that bus driver has lost his job. he was reading a book on a kindle while driving a bus with people on it. inexcusable. number three, we have initiated a new rule making that eliminate commercial truck drivers to not use electronic devices. this proposed rule is now posted and we encourage the public to comment. of course, no matter what government does, we can't break americans' addiction to distracted driving by ourselves. we need the business community's leadership, too. among the important success stories of last year are the thousands of u.s. companies that have imposed distracted driving policies of their own. one partner in this effort is the network of employers for traffic safety oru
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an alliance of major corporations including many of the fortune 500 list. nhtsa has helped establish nets more than 20 years ago and they are driven by the idea as their chairman puts it that corporate cell phone policies are essential pieces of employee safety equipment. from october 4 through october 8, 2010, nets will hold their annual drive safely workweek during which they'll remind businesses about the importance of safe drive. -- driving. i'm also pleased to announce some exciting news. in advance of this summit, d.o.t. joined with nets to survey american businesses about distracted driving policies. companies and corporations covering approximately 10.5 million workers across the country have already adopted such policies. and we help persuade 550 additional companies and organizations coveringñ 1.5
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million more employees to adopt similar measures during the last year. this is not a bad step towards our goal. every employer in america discouraging workers from driving while talking or texting, every employer should be discouraging workers from driving while talking or texting. from other private sector friends, whether in the wireless industry, the insurance industry, or the automobile industry, we have seen a number of constructive measures. the wireless association and individual insurance companies have been vocal in reminding the public not to message behind the wheel. that's a start. and we are grateful. auto companies have supported laws that ban drivers from texting or talking on hand-held devices while driving. the public is safer for it. but friends are honest with each other. and i think it's fair to say we all must go further.
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in recent days and weeks we have seen news stories about carmakers adding technology in vehicles ÷ that lets drivers update facebook, surf the web, or do any other number of things instead of driving safely. but facts are facts, features that pull drivers' hands and eyes' attention away from the road are distractions, period. so i'm going to meet with and work with our friends in the auto companies to develop new safety guidelines for technology in vehicles. together let's put safety before entertainment. and let's ensure that advances decreases in distraction related deaths and injuries. still laws, guidelines, rules, and regulations do little good if we don't enforce them. so we at d.o.t. are running two
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pilot programs, one in hartford, connecticut, and another one in syracuse, new york. that tests will high visibility enforcement can change drivers' behavior. the early data shows that it works. according to new nhtsa research, available today, hand-held cell phone use in the driver's seat has dropped 56% in hartford and 38% in syracuse, and texting behind the wheel declined 68% in hartford and 42% in syracuse. one of the things that's been encouraging to watch during the last year is the groundswell of grass root support for our cause. local just hang it up, pledge drives, and groups like moms send a message, are spreading the word far and wide that the only safe way to get from one place to another is to hang up and drive. the entertainment industry is leading the charge also.
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during the national football league preseason, espn plastered the message, stop distracted driving on the side of their tour bus as they logged 15,000 miles traveling from training camp to training camp. zach beach who is here, the jonas brothers, and american idol winner, jordin sparks, participated in all state insurances ex the text campaign. obviously you-all know that oprah winfrey led an entire television show to telling victims' stories and promoting national no phone zone day. webster's dictionary even selected distracted driving as its word of the year for 2009. at the same time, as americans called for action, government took notice as peter has mentioned. last year alone, legislatures in 43 states considered more than 200 distracted driving bills
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during 2010, 12 states outlawed texting behind the wheel, and two banned hand-held cell phone use. bringing our nationwide totals to 30 states that have banned texting and eight states that have been banned hand-held use behind the wheel. as i said, the president of the united states prohibited all federal employees a four-million person work force from texting while driving. even the united nations got in the game last spring i stood with secretary-general moon at u.n. headquarters along with our great u.n. ambassador, susan rice, as he imposed a directive banning the u.n.'s 40,000 employees from text messaging while operating vehicles on official business. so in all these ways the last year has been very positive. i can't think of another safety issue in american history that's gained so much traction in such
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a short period of time. but we still haven't solved the problem. not by a long shot. and you don't need to take my word for it. we have several people with us today who have suffered directly as a result of distracted driving. and i thank them again for joining us and for turning the worst moments of their lives into solving and saving lives of others. i can't do justice to all of the stories, but with your permission i'd like to tell a few. robert and eileen from santa maria, california, lost their 19-year-old son, eric, in 2009. eric was a national merit scholar, majoring in molecular biology at cal berkley. he was riding his bike during the middle of the day when a young woman in a pickup truck struck him. she was texting in the driver's
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seat. amos johnson from asheville, north carolina, lost his 16-year-old daughter, ashley, earlier this year. she was on her way to work and she lost control, crossed the center line, and hit a pickup truck head-on. although amos had warned his daughter about the dangers of distracted driving, she was texting at the time of the crash. one final story, russell and kim herd, are here from abingdon, maryland. in 2008 their 26-year-old daughter and her fiance left their florida home to meet their families at a disney world planner's -- wedding planner's office. heather and patrick, both worked at the park, and dreamed of a fairy tale ceremony at the magic kingdom. on the way they stopped at a traffic light when a truck driver plowed his
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tractor-trailer into the back of their car. it set off a chain reaction, left heather and another woman dead. that driver was texting behind the wheel. eric, ashley, heather they and thousands like them came from all parts of the country. they had bright futures. they are the kind of kids that every parent hopes for. they are the kind of parent that every child adores. and their too short lives were punctuated with a question mark. how many people need to die on american's roadways? how many people need to die on our watch not because of evil or mall list but -- mallice but because of carelessness and very dangerous behavior. during this last year many of you have been a part of a rising chorus which is shouting enough.
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today we gather and we will take measure of how far we have come and the distance we have yet to travel. share what you're doing, share what you learn, ask questions, listen to new ideas, come up with some new ideas of your own, but know this, we are in this together. we will solve this together. we will not let up until distracted driving is a behavior of the past. i am very grateful to all of you for being here, to being a part of our team. shoulder to shoulder, arm in arm we will conquer this distracted driving problem. thank you-all very much.
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>> thank you, mr. secretary. it is such an honor and my great fortune to follow secretary ray lahood who, as all of you just heard, inspires all of us and inspires all of the nation's drivers to take personal responsibility every minute that they are operating on the highways. for the federal motor carrier safety administration, that means the four million commercial drivers and half a million truck and bus companies across the nation and how they operate in the workplace. as you heard the secretary reference, the federal motor carrier safety administration employees across the country have been energized and inspired by his message to the extent that they develop from concept to final rule an actual ban on texting for all commercial vehicle operators that the secretary just announced in less than a year. his leadership is inspiring.
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as we consider how to promote safety among all drivers, for many of us at the department of transportation, it's safety in the workplace. for truck and bus drivers, for a truck driver that office, that workplace is the individual's cab in a truck, hauling up to 80,000 pounds on the nation's roadways. for a bus operator it may be a transit operation moving passengers, moving school children, moving people to destinations like disney world and other places across the country. those workplaces must be safe and it means those operators have got to keep both hands on the wheels, just hang up and drive. so it's particularly exciting to us to have our next speaker here. the nation's secretary of labor, secretary hilda solis. having her here gives recognition that the transportation workers and those employees across the country in less conventional workplace that is our nation's leaders recognize the importance of safe operations even in their less conventional workplaces more importantly than ever.
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for transportation is pilots, train engineers, ship captains, transit workers, and as i said bus and truck drivers. these are occupation that is keep our nation moving, keep our economy thriving, and it's our job to keep them safe. now, as i mentioned secretary lahood is remarkably inspiring to all of us who operate on our nation's highways or work in transportation. our next speaker is equally inspiring to our nation's workers and the 17,000 employees at the u.s. department of labor. secretary hilda solis is a champion for workers' families and workers' rights. she's a trail blazer. a woman of firsts. the first to go to college in her family, the first to earn a graduate degree, the first latina elected to the state senate in california. the first latina on the house energy and commerce committee and the first latina in a president's cabinet. her passion for workplace safety runs deep. secretary solis' father fought for workers' health and safety at the battery recycling plant
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where he worked. she brings those same values and passion to the department of labor and the nation's workers. her mother was equally committed to workplace values and safety. secretary solis' mother who is an immigrant from nicaragua often stood 10 hours a day at the toy factory where she worked and was equally outspoken about working conditions. prior to her confirmation as labor secretary, hilda solis represented the 32nd congressional district in california. a position she held for four terms from 2001 to 2009. and also a nationally recognized leader on the environment, secretary solis became the first woman to receive the john f. kennedy profile in courage award for her pioneering work on environmental justice issues as a state legislator. so please join me in welcoming a trail blazer, a champion of workplace safety, and for our workers across the nation, labor secretary hilda solis. thank you.
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>> thank you, ann. good morning to all of you. it's a real delight and pleasure to be here with all of you, and especially one of my good friends who i served with in the house prior to our coming here as cabinet, and that's none other than secretary lahood. i love hearing him. you and i and many millions of people heard him preside over the dais in the house of representatives and we became good friends when i served there as a rookie coming in. he was always a very kind gentleman. always very helpful in assisting new members that were coming into the house. i have very good memories of the work that we did back in the house. and now of course now we are here and i'm serving as labor secretary and i'm charged with protecting america's workers' rights and to make sure that their workplaces are indeed safe. from ensuring the safety of
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construction workers to medical professionals, from our nation's miners to line cooks, our labor laws protect everyone in the workplace. and while we experience fewer fatalities in the workplace today, the leading cause of worker fatalities year after year are motor vehicle crashes. distracted driving dramatically increases the risk of such crashes. this is why the department of labor through its occupational safety and health administration, known as osha, is announcing we are also partnering with the department of transportation to combat distracted driving. to reduce this deadly toll, we will first focus on texting while driving. prohibiting texting while driving is a subject of the executive order signed by president obama last year for federal employees. and the subject of rule making by the department of transportation. we call upon all employers to prohibit any work policy or practice that requires or
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encourages workers to text while driving. the osha act is clear, employers must provide a workplace free of serious recognized hazards. it is well recognized that texting while driving dramatically increases the risk of motor vehicle injury or fatality. it is imperative that employers eliminate financial or other incentives that encourage workers to text while driving. employers who require their employees to text while driving or who organize work so that doing so is a practical necessaryity even if not a formal requirement, violates the osha act. furthermore, we call upon all employers to follow the lead of president obama, secretary lahood, and 30 state laws that prohibit drivers from texting. to prohibit their employees from texting while driving from work. as i stated earlier keeping workers' safe is our top priority at the department of labor. that is why osha is launching a
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multipronged initiative that will include the following. an education campaign to employers launched during drive safely workweek in early october. calling on employers to prevent occupationally related distracted driving with a fegs focus on prohibiting texting while driving. during drive safely workweek our website will carry on an open letter to employers. we will showcase model employer policies and team up with employer and labor associations to communicate our message. we will forge alliances with the national safety council and other key organizations to help us reach out to employers. especially small employers to combat distracted driving and prohibit texting while driving. we will place a special emphasis on reaching young workers. working with other labor department agencies as well as our alliance partners and stakeholders. and when osha receives a credible complaint that an employer requires texting while
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driving or organizes work so that text something a practical necessaryity, we will investigate and where necessary issue citations and penalties to end that practice. i have also asked my wage and hour division to examine what additional protections can be implemented to be sure young workers are not subject to distractions while driving on the job or operating equipment. we simply can't put a price on the health and safety after child. employers have a legal and moral responsibility to protect their workers who ultimately are america's most important asset. our laws are designed specifically to level the playing field for all businesses and ensure that workers are kept out of harm's way. by prohibiting texting while driving, we are working to ensure that workers are safe on the road and that they return home safely at the end of their shift. because the bottom line is, no paycheck is worth a life.
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thank you very much. and a special salute to the families that are here. thank you. >> remarks from labor secretary hilda solis at the distracted drivers' summit in washington. offer her opening remarks the day-long forum is taking a break for lunch. when they return it will be a pam on communications and media coverage of distracted driving. it's expected to resume at about 1: 10 p.m. eastern. the senate is in session today. the senator gaveled in at 10:00 a.m. eastern to continue work on the defense bill. a key procedural vote set for 2:30 eastern after lawmakers return from their weekly party launches. we look at some -- lunches. we look at some of the details. the president to repeal the
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"don't ask, don't tell" policy. also a provision called the dream act which would create a pathway to citizenship for the children of some illegal aliens. and the bill would expand the-l -expand apportion services. we'll get more on the bill 2340u from a capitol hill reporter. th hill" two amendments. don't ask, don't tell, andhe dream amendment. what is in the dream a? >> the vote today is basically a procedural vote to have the scent moving to the authorization bill. in terms of the amendment, the dream act would be the first one to be debated.
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but it would allow -- the general gist of the legislation would be to give a pathway of citizenship to illegal immigrants. host: why is this included in the defense reauthorization act? many say that it is irrelevant to pentagon spending. >>, that is their contention. the defense bill is seen as a must-pass bill. it has implications for the pentagon, pay raises for the military. it is seen as a bill that has to pass. it has passed the last 40 consecutive years. republicans will say that it does not belong on the bill.
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democrats will say that it is in thright of the senators to offesuch an amendment and it has importance on the defense bill, in the sense that people can join the military, find a pathway to citizenship. so there is a tangential aspect of their. host: quiten exchange between john mccain o arizona and senator lindsey graham on the issue of don't ask don't tell and the threat of a filibuster. could they do so? >> it is up in the air. it will be a crucial time for supporters of the repeal, those who are against it. you need 60 votes to overcome a filibuster. on either side, you need 60
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votes. carl levin yesterday afternoon did not know if the 60 votes were there. you need a couple republicans -- susan collins voted in favor of repeal but there were concerns that debate on the bill would be limited, so that could take away her critical vote to reach 60. scott brown voted in favor of the defense bill out of committee, not for repeal. he wld be another one to look at, in terms of whether he would go to overcome a filibuster. course, olympia snowe as well. host: that may ask youbout two other senators. jim webb of virginia, jim blagojich of ohio -- voinovich
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of ohio. >> voinovich will be important, in terms of whether he can give the democrats in the 60 votes that are needed. he does not agree with repealing don't ask don't tell. he wants to let the pentagon do their own study, reform before any legislation is enacted. so far, he has been the democrat to vote against the repeal. host: it is $75.5 billion. if there is the potential for a filibuster, what happens to the pentagon budget? >> it is usually not signed into
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law on october 1 when the fiscal year starts, but first, congress would have to approve continuing authority and a continuing resolution to fund the pentagon. senator levin left it up in the air and said it would be a serious setback in the defense bill if they did not have the 60 votes, which means he did not know and did not want to predict what will happen in a lame duck section -- session. it will be interesting. it could be a year where the defense bill does not pass this congress and will have to move to the next congrs, and if there is a new congress, they would have to deliberate all over again. a lot of people are saying, even if they would have to mark up the bill, they would keep all of
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us backs in the bill. of course, if republicans are in power, they would take away a couple of items that they do not like. host: give our aience a guide -- this afternoon, we will have coverage of the senate floor. what will you be looking for? >> we will see if the democrats have the 60 votes to overce the republican filibuster and look at how senator collins, senators know, scott brown, are going to vote on this. also, keeping our eyes peeled for democrats who will be voting against moving for the dfense bill. senator webb and other
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>> since we had that interview this morning, the time for that vote has been updated. it's now set for 2:30 eastern. the white house, by the way, has offered a statement in support of the don't-ask, don't-tell provision saying the obama administration supports the provision as it will allow for completion of the comprehensive review, enable the department of defense to assess the results of the review, and ensure the implementation of the repeal is consistent with military readiness, effectiveness,, retention. you can see that vote in the senate live on our companion network, 2:30 eastern on c-span2. again a live picture from the distracted driving summit. a panel on communications and media coverage of distracted driving. at the start of the next series of discussions live coverage of that will start at about 1:10 eastern here on c-span.
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a look at the senate small business legislation that may come up in the house this week. from today's "washington journal." host: the economy and small businesses is the topic as the -- we have the president of the the national small business association. guest: the president who was pointing out some things, people do not feel like the recession is over. host: he will also lead the recovery. you believe that he is doing so? guest: every last generation of small business has led us out of it. that is not yet happening. that is why we are hopeful of the jobs bill the house has ken up this week. small businesse really do lead us outf recessn.
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host: the president spending august criticizing republicans for blocking the small business bill. what is in the legislation, but will it mean for small businesses, it is it -- is it enough? guest: it does a lot of things. one of the important things is it gives incentives to small communities to lend more. they get cheaper money to lend, if they lend more, which we believe is the right incentives. it also has some programs that the spla has had under -- sba has had under its program for awhile. unfortunately, that program expired in may and has not been reauthorize. this puts money back into the program again, which had been really productive. in addition to lending, there
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are a whole bunch of taxreaks for companies. expensing allows them to immediately deduct their capital purchases, other equipment needs in the first year, increes the ceiling for those things. this year, it reduced health care costs in real terms for the self-employed. it allowed them to deduct their health insurance costs from their self employment taxes. they are the only people that does not have their pretax coverage text. host: to find a small business. guest: we do it arbitrarily by
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about 500 and employees or smaller. but there are lots of small businesses that are viable. host: i ask you that because we have one mind set aside for small business owners. we really want to hear from you, when you're dealing with, in terms of taxes, hiring, and sales in your area. if you are a small business owner, 202-628-0184. dennis has this commen when you hear that, what do you say? caller: i think that -- guest: i think that is a mystery of the
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economy. the small business community makes our economy so vibrant. if you looat innovations, the numbers of patents filed, small businesses and stripped of large employers. if we do not have these innovative start-ups in the economy, we could rapidly fall into a backlog position. host: another viewer writes -- guest: people should be aware that the health reform bill does not impose new taxes unless they have more than 50 empyees. but certainly, the employees wi be required to have health coverage, and that will definitely hit those people. host: is that a good thing? guest: for a long time, we
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thought everybody should have health insurance on an individual basis. in the near term, those requirements will be a significant burden on small business hiring. host: if i have a small busiss, i am moderately successful, the bill passes and is signed into law, how can i get some of that money, loans? guest: this is not a government program to lend to small businesses. what will happen is, more community banks, primarily the one such small businesses borrow from, will have cheaper access to capital. we would encourage these businesses to work through their community bank, the bank that they have been working with all along. that is what we think is missing in this economy.
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why small business is not growing us out of this. even when they see opportunities, they do not necessarily have credit available to them to take advantage. host: we had a caller earlier from upstate new york indicating -- actually, he was from baltimore. he was talking about the number of plants that have shut down or scale back. if you have a large or moderately large company that closes, what impact does that have have on the dine and coffee shops and the mom and pop hardware stores and the oer small operations that depend on other people being employed? guest: a huge impact, obviously. which is why i think it is important to understand th dynamism of the american economy. the small business community, the reason why it is so important to growth is small businesses and other businesses are constantly going out of business and downsizing and we have to have a constant pipe
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line of new companies coming in and hiring employees to replace them. that is one of the things really missing in the economy. credit is so crucial. which is why it is such a high agenda item. when that happens, there has to be an ability for other compans -- taking advantage of new opportunities to replace those lost economic activities that happen every day. host: the president was addressing this yesterday on the cnbc forum. but first we want to hear from clinton, maryland. democrats line. caller: how low? -- hello? my question is this. but if amall business during these economic times, if they start to default on the loans would not affect the way the receive credit? guest: certainly.
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if businesses are not paying their creditors off on time? absolutely. small businesses, like individuals, are heavily dependent on credit stores -- scores. so if they fall behind, and it affects their credit scores, they have a hard te getting otherending. st: mark is joining us outside of washington, d.c. silver spring, maryland. what is your business? caller: medical. host: how many people you employ? caller: currently we have two but we will increase to 7. host: how is business? caller: it is going pretty good. very, very well. one thing we may take advantage of is the capital investment package. we have to get a chance to write off equipment. probably will expand into virginiand some areas of d.c. host: de have a question for
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todd mccracken? caller: no, i am just so thankful for the small business plan. i think it will definitely stimulate the economy. i know there was a recession, and now we are out. so we are just looking to increase our productivity now and continue to hire. host: thank you for the call. mark also joining us from northfield, n hampshire. republican minority caller: good morning, gentleman. thank you for taking my call. when george bush came into presidency in 2001, from 2001 until 2006 with katrina, with inheriting the attacks on our country, head 52 months of job growth with his tax cuts. i want to know, todd, what specifically besides giving federal money to the banks to lend, what specific policy has
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barack obama put in place to help small businesses grow? thank you so much. guest: the lending has been a part of it. although, in all candor, many of the provisions in this bill that we think will pass the house later this week and be available for his signature should have been done a year and a half or more ago, we think. so it is, we think, very positive, but a lot later in the scheme of things than it should have been. but nevertheless, earlier on in his administration -- many of the tax pieces, such as expensing that the previous callerentioned, were put into ple initially in the earlier stimulus bill and the now being extended and expanded upon. but other tax rates have also been reduced -- reducing capital
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gains of small companies. host: the longest recession since the 1930's, officially by the board economist, the headline from "the wall street journal." the slump is over, the pain persists. the president traveling to the newseum, speaking to small business owners and other individuals and 01-hour for, sponsored by cnbc, carried live. he was asked by a small business owner about the state of the economy. >> i think that american businesses like yours are what makes this country go. we have passed eight tax cuts for small businesses so far. we have made it easier to you to invest in plants and equipment. we have already taken down the capital gains and want to reduce its down to zero for small businesses. all of these things are what historically been considered pro-busine agenda is.
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host: todd mccracken, are they pro-business? guest: those particular policies. but we think a lot mo can be done. if they really want help small businesses grow. the one idea bandied about is a payroll tax holiday. we were in favor of that in the original stimulus bill at the beginning of the obama administration bared probably would haveeen in a lot better shape if we had been. i think he could have much more credibly stake a claim too great pro-business agenda if he had. host: the bush administration, giving back anywhere from $300 to $500 and a tax rebate but by all accounts it had very little impact. guest: it is hard to kno it certainly did not spark a period of economicrowth, as far as we can tell, but that is what is so hard that looking back at any time a period like this, trying to figure out what this something did not help or if something -- if that had not
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happened in the first place. surely a rebate had some small effect. but it clearly did not bring us out of the recession. host: let me read from "the wall street jrnal." from its editorial. "a tale of two recoveries." we have been talking about the recession. the great recession and it 15 months ago, in june of 2009, the word from the economists from the national bureau of economic research, which tracks the youth of this business cycle based on a variety of economic variables. then this conclusion --
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can you elaborate? guest: i think there's something to that. i do think that the sense tt business owners have, especially small business owners, about what is around the corner. our taxes going up? if they are more successful will they be taxed on that, i think is a real dynamic. and i think the fear out there, whether it will actually be borne out or not, is a question. but the fact that it exists in people's mind i think keeps them back from being at full throttle and taking opportunities. host: our guest is todd mccracke president of the small business -- association. texas. what is your business? caller: good morning. we breed horses.
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i have four people who are employed. one of them is another family member. i don't know what is going to happen to us. our business on our farm, it has been in our family for 25 years. it belonged to my mother and my father. one of them is already gone and the other one is probably not going to be around for another year or two. the farm has been appraised at -- i think it was $450,000. and this is going to be true of many neighbors that have farms, whether they are in the horse business or some other business. i think we are going to all lose our benefits when the death tax break expire spirited that has a
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lot of us concerned. that is probably true of many of my neighbors. host: it kicks in next year, correct? it takes effect next year? caller: correct. will expire. there is just no way around -- is that death tax, which is the most unfair tax, i believe, that is on the books. host: what is the pay will for your four employees? guest: i think the payroll -- caer: i think the payroll, probably40,000 is what i make. the other family member makes the same and the two hands that we have working, they probably
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make $32,000 a year. host: how long ve you been in business? caller: we have been in business here for, i guess a little over 18 years. host: jim calling from all grits, texas. appreciate your call. what do you tell them? guest: the farm is appraised at $450,000. even though the current emanation of the death attack goes away at the end of this year, i reverts back to the old levels back to 2001. which did have an exemption of a million dollars in assets. so it might not in fact affect this particular farm. nevertheless, we think it is grossly irresponsible -- even at that level there are very middle-class families supported by businesses worth in excess of a million dollars and will be hit very hard by increase in the estate tax. host: your response on the
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payroll tax holiday on twitter. guest: that is true. of course, this done in context with the largest in the the spill in which the government was fargo -- foregoing a lot of revenue anyway. it probably would have been a better way to do it, because it not only gets money in the pockets of essentially lower- paid workers who would spend all of the make but also in the pockets of the businesses to hire them and greater incentives not to lay people off and greater incentis to hire people. it would have been a better use of the same money. host: indiana. independent line. caller: i guess myuestion is, how can small businesses help expand the middle class?
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generally small businesses may not pay as much as a larger firm i just see so much unemployment today. i just wonder how -- can we create a nation of small businesses that actually help the middle class in this country? host: what are you seeing in your part of indiana? caller: there are a lot of instrial companies. you do see some unemployment here. but really looking historically, it is the larger companies that have expanded the middle-class. guest: actually, i am not sure that is true. you have to think about the huge diversity of the small business community. i think some people think that when they think of a small business they think of a small retail shops that may only have part-time workers or relatively low-paid workers. in reality, if there are small businesses, and every facet of the economy.
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employing ph.d. scientists. growing rapidly. architecture firms. physicians. cpa firms. a lot of professionals in small businesses. also all kinds of small manufacturing businesses. construction firms. it's really is, i think, a pathway to truly be the american dream for millions of americans. host: responding to our viewer in hammond, indiana. saying things to mitch daniels. in the black. mitch daniels talked-about as a possible 2012 republican candidate. jd from murfreesboro, tennessee with todd mccracken. good morning. caller: good morning. host: go ahead with your question. caller: i really don't have a question. i am relieved to hear the recession ended in june of 2009. i am simply wondering why we
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spent over $1 trillion to prent recessio since the recession ended over a year ago. i own a small business. and as i on a research firm and i can tell you personally that evictions are up, people being served with warrants are up. i don't think the recession is over. small businesses will continue suffering for the foreseeab future because there is no relief. anyone making over $250,000 a year, by the way, come january, will pay through the nose. i would like your guest to address this. guest: we have asked the obama administration to extend the lease currently in the tax
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rates. we do not think it is the time to increase anyone's tax rates. there are small businesses are taxed at the individual rates. the ones that have those higher levels of incomes are the ones that are more successful, with a much more likely to be in a position t grow and hire workers and we think this would be the wrong time to disincent them from doing this this debate about recessions semantic. technical definition, which is two quarters in a row of a shrinking economy. we have kind of stopped shrinking 15 months ago but that does not mean we have been growing in a meaningful way. host: this morning in "the washington post" writing about the bush tax cuts. and the alternative minimum tax. what is that?
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why was it put in place in the 1970's and why do we still have it today? guest: it was put into place initially to capture people who had a lot of tax loopholes, wealthy people. so, to ensure that everyone paid at least some minimum level of taxes, alternative minimum tax on their tax burden. you have to remember, back in the 1970's, we have very high marginal tax rates but also extraordinarily generous loopholes and deductions, so it was really easy to essentials hide your income -- essentially hide your income. this was to get around this to make sure the wealthiest americans paid at least some share. over the years paid at least what happens is the levels had encroached on the ddle-class and it has become very difficult to get rid of the amt
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so every year they have done a temporary patch which essentially ld harmless a block from pay it for another year. but it depends on the actual income of the individual. hits a lot of folks. host: if you are a small business owner and you bring in a quarter million dlars a year or more, would you pay more in taxes if the bush tax cuts go away? or is it on income? in other words, if you have a small business and you bring in revenue access of a quarter million dollars a year, would you pay more in taxes because the bush era tax cut, if they go away next year, or is it based solely on income? is the revenue or income that becomes the criteria? guest: it is income. for instance, -- and, you make,
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not the revenue derived from it. after the various deductions. host: good morning. democrats line. caller: my question actually relates to this and it shows my ignorance because i always worked as a wage owner -- turner. i heard the argument of the obama plan was that many small business owners take the profits of their business and pay as a personal income-tax rather than under some business tax plan. i was always under the impression that businesses pay a lower tax rates, like capital gains is a lower tax. i don't understand why a small business owner would take the profits from the business as personal income tax. i don't know if there is a simple way to explain it. also wondering if there are problems in our patent system
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can bring small business and growth and development of small businesses? >> thank you. appreciate the call. guest: first off, on your question of income, yes, most small business owners operate where basically all of the income passes through to them as an individual. so, they are taxed at the individual level. companies that are incorporated pay taxes at the corporate level, they pay corporate rates. but for the vast majority of small businesses, it makes more sense for them to organize themselves as a pass through. much simpler way to organize yourself, organize your company and your tax rates will end up being exactly the same as someone who is a teacher or dentist or wherever they happen to do. plus, they play this -- pay the so-called self the employment tax. both havsome of the fica t
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that other workers face. let's go to john from newport, tennessee. what is your small business? caller: it was a music store -- taught lessons and stuff like that. host: how's business? caller: i sold it. it took a $65,000 loss. i tried to get a loan and i could not. thank god i couldn't, because i could not have paid it back. small business needs customers. there and of customershat have any money. i remember when there was a bate with george h. bush and bill clinton and ross perot talk about nafta and they said it is ok because we have -- or an
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agricultural country, going to it industrial and now high-tech country. where are all the high-tech jobs? with the 25 million baht out of work. i saw the news out of -- the other day. opening soup kitchens in detroit and chicago. pretty soon we will be a third world country and then our government that had to the his. guest: in your case, the economy may have gotten to the point that the loan would not have enabled you to survive. i am really sorry for that. but we think lending can help some other companies. and that, in turn, we think will help other companies get the demands that they need because you are exactly right, there is a huge demand gap. businesses need customers. but the reality is if there are businesses that have the opportunities.
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but they've got to have the credit to bridge the gap to take advantage of the opportunities. they need to hire employees, by employing -- equipment, lease office space. those employees, vendors, landlos, are not falling to wait to get paid until they can exploit the opportunity. they have to fill that gap with credit from the bank. if they can do that, then the new employees will have in turn in come -- income. this is one way to get the custers to them. it is a bit of a chicken and egg problem but we do think there are real opportunities that could be exploited by greater credit availability. host: let me follow-up when he said people are not spending money. clearly if you are out of work, you will not spend money. but if you have a job, are worried about your job, worry about and lay off, you will not spend money. spend money. if your


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